Player profile: Mike Iupati, G, Idaho

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Mike Iupati:

Mike Iupati's size and strength are highly attractive to NFL teams.
Mike Iupati’s size and strength are highly attractive to NFL teams.

NFL position: G

Height: 6-5 1/8
Weight: 331
40 time: 5.32
Current projection: First-round pick
NFL comparison: Kris Dielman, Chargers

Run blocking: Is physically dominant because of uncommon size, strength and athleticism. On in-line run blocks, flashes good aggressiveness firing off the snap to deliver violent blows to defensive tackles and then use strength to drive his man out of the play. Is equally effective leading on perimeter runs. When keeping knees bent and maintaining contact with the linebacker, can easily ride him out of the play. Shows good quickness and athleticism to make short pulls and lead block.

Pass blocking:
Has the talent to be an elite pass blocker when using good technique and aggressiveness. When focused on technique, bends knees and pass blocks with good leverage. When using aggressive hand punch, can jolt defensive linemen upright. Occasionally gets lazy with hands and allows pass rusher to get into his chest and drive him backward. Shows the quickness to slide and adjust to line stunts and blitzes. Has a bad habit of staying flat-footed and reaching for defenders and thus falling off blocks.

Initial quickness: Gets out of stance and into position quickly. Gets off the snap and through the line of scrimmage with surprising quickness, getting ideal position to block the linebacker. Gets set quickly in pass protection.

Strength: Shows natural strength to dominate when aggressive and using good technique. On in-line run blocks, can torque defensive linemen of their feet and onto the ground. He shows excellent strength on side blocks, often collapsing the entire side of the line to create a massive hole. Consistently holds his ground vs. bull rushers when keeping knees bent.

Mobility: Shows good, but not elite, mobility. Can pull and effectively block defenders in his track. Is not as effective when having to block moving targets.

Bottom line: Big, strong guards with good athleticism who block with intensity and passion are tough to find. Iupati must learn to be consistent with his technique but projects as a good NFL starter. Many say he can switch to tackle, but we feel he is best suited to stay at guard. He could be a solid NFL tackle but has the tools to be a Pro Bowl guard.

For more than 665 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

Sporting News’ Pro Football War Room has hundreds of player evaluations in preparation for the 2010 NFL draft. Here is a capsule look at prospect Mike Iupati:

Mike Iupati's size and strength are highly attractive to NFL teams.
Mike Iupati’s size and strength are highly attractive to NFL teams.

NFL position: G

Height: 6-5 1/8
Weight: 331
40 time: 5.32
Current projection: First-round pick
NFL comparison: Kris Dielman, Chargers

Run blocking: Is physically dominant because of uncommon size, strength and athleticism. On in-line run blocks, flashes good aggressiveness firing off the snap to deliver violent blows to defensive tackles and then use strength to drive his man out of the play. Is equally effective leading on perimeter runs. When keeping knees bent and maintaining contact with the linebacker, can easily ride him out of the play. Shows good quickness and athleticism to make short pulls and lead block.

Pass blocking:
Has the talent to be an elite pass blocker when using good technique and aggressiveness. When focused on technique, bends knees and pass blocks with good leverage. When using aggressive hand punch, can jolt defensive linemen upright. Occasionally gets lazy with hands and allows pass rusher to get into his chest and drive him backward. Shows the quickness to slide and adjust to line stunts and blitzes. Has a bad habit of staying flat-footed and reaching for defenders and thus falling off blocks.

Initial quickness: Gets out of stance and into position quickly. Gets off the snap and through the line of scrimmage with surprising quickness, getting ideal position to block the linebacker. Gets set quickly in pass protection.

Strength: Shows natural strength to dominate when aggressive and using good technique. On in-line run blocks, can torque defensive linemen of their feet and onto the ground. He shows excellent strength on side blocks, often collapsing the entire side of the line to create a massive hole. Consistently holds his ground vs. bull rushers when keeping knees bent.

Mobility: Shows good, but not elite, mobility. Can pull and effectively block defenders in his track. Is not as effective when having to block moving targets.

Bottom line: Big, strong guards with good athleticism who block with intensity and passion are tough to find. Iupati must learn to be consistent with his technique but projects as a good NFL starter. Many say he can switch to tackle, but we feel he is best suited to stay at guard. He could be a solid NFL tackle but has the tools to be a Pro Bowl guard.

For more than 665 player scouting reports from Lande and his team of former NFL scouts — plus updated mock draft, Super 99 rankings and more — go to warroom.sportingnews.com.

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